Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Brothers of Baker Street by Michael Robertson

The Brothers of Baker Street is the second mystery by Michael Robertson. It concerns the barrister brothers Nigel and Reggie Heath whose chambers happen to share the same address as the fictional Sherlock Holmes - 221b Baker Street.

The first in the series, The Baker Street Letters,  (and there is a third book scheduled to come out in April 2013) had the brothers flying to Los Angeles in response to a cry for help to Mr. Holmes from a young woman who wants the detective to help her find her father. 

This next tale takes place in London and involves robberies and eventually a murder by a Black Cab driver. It all has to do with revenge, GPS equipment, and therapy groups. Just as in the first book, a letter written to Sherlock Holmes plays a big part in the mystery. 

It is all quite a romp and Mr. Robertson seemed to write with a lighter touch this time. Although I will warn you that for some reason, in the first few pages, he gives away the identity of the murderer in the first book. That is why I feel compelled to read a mystery series in order of publication. I don't want any spoiled surprises.

Anyway, as a bonus, I learned what taxi drivers have to go through to get their license to drive a Black Cab. It is quite a strenuous and expensive path. All drivers must pass a test - known as the Knowledge - as to the locations of the streets and places of interest within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross in central London. This means learning 320 routes, 25,000 streets, and 20,000 landmarks. It can take from two to four years to pass the Knowledge.

Pretty cool, eh? London's taxi drivers  are very proud of their expertise and reputation for safety. This is why with a criminal cabbie running amok in the city, everyone from other cab drivers to Scotland Yard to the press and especially the Heath Brothers are up-in-arms and bent on catching the killer. 

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